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by Eris Field

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay

People use different behaviors to help themselves through difficult situations. A behavior familiar to all of us is the Fake It Until You Make It. We act as though we are confident, enthusiastic, and in control of a situation. This approach tends to be used for a new or challenging experience that we are not totally prepared for. It is a temporary modification of our personality, not a permanent part of our personality.

In contrast, the As If behavior tends to be part of all of a person’s relationships and interactions. They assume the role they believe is correct and appropriate at the expense of genuineness. They perform as if they were a successful member of society, a devoted, caring partner, or a concerned parent.

Image by Mandy Fontana from Pixabay

The As If personality is thought to be related to a disturbance very early in life of the child’s attachment to others, usually their caregivers. Something prevents them from forming the image that people can be depended on to meet their needs and that they are worthy, competent, loveable individuals. This disturbance influences their later ability to interact with people. They compensate by adopting the behaviors they observe others using in their interactions. However, they often experience feelings of emptiness. Some who are fortunate are able to find a loving relationship that enables them to feel secure and to practice more genuine behaviors.

Here is a brief intro to one of my contemporary romances that is a good example of the As If personality.

Laurel, a 26-year-old slightly impulsive pediatric nurse learned her survival skills through early years in foster care. Her life dream is to provide a home for six abandoned children. But, before she can do anything about the dream, she must sell the huge old house her adoptive parents left her. She must sell it before she falls even deeper into debt. To put it on the market, requires tackling the escalating compulsive hoarding of her reclusive half-sister who lives with her. Paper of all kinds is filling the rooms and hallways of the house. She has tried reasoning, nagging, and threatening. Now in desperation, she borrows from her Union’s Retirement Fund to go to a conference on the latest treatments for Compulsive Hoarding.

Andrew, a 39-year-old psychiatrist, is never impulsive. A reticent, somewhat austere man, he limits his interactions with people to his work. His life is strictly planned and modelled on the life of his grandfather who was one of hundreds of orphaned boys raised by Father Baker. Despite the scorn of his father, an entrepreneurial plastic surgeon, he prefers to practice psychiatry in the underserved communities of Buffalo, New York. Being handed Jamie, the mute two-year-old grandson of his father’s second wife, as he is about to leave for the conference where he has agreed to fill in for a colleague is definitely not part of his life plan.

When they first meet, a series of unfortunate events cause Laurel to view Andrew as arrogant, rude, but disturbingly attractive and Andrew to view Laurel as a dangerous distraction to be avoided. Faced with a crisis, they are forced to work together, but will they be able to put aside their protective armor and trust each other enough to let love in?

Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As a seventeen year old student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met a Turkish surgical intern who told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and forced population exchanges. After they married and moved to Buffalo, Eris worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

After taking time off to raise five children and amassing rejection letters for her short stories, Eris earned her master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Later, she taught psychiatric nursing at the University and wrote a textbook for psychiatric nurse practitioners—a wonderful rewarding but never to be repeated experience.

Eris now writes novels, usually international, contemporary romances. Her interest in history and her experience in psychiatry often play a part in her stories. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Western New York Romance Writers. In addition to writing, Eris’s interests include: Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders; Eradicating Honor Killings, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about Turkey, Cyprus, and Kurdistan.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.